criminals, and said that they had nothing to do with islam. interestingly enough he called on his fellow muslims in france he said it's time for the silent majority to speak out and criticize these acts. and this immom himself has 24-hour protection. so clearly a very worrying about frightening moment in paris and in france as a whole, and people are really looking to the politicians, to the security services and the intelligence agencies to see how they are going to react, and what measures they are going to put in place to try to protect people. >> reporter: jackie of course this is the time for francois hollande as heard of france to step up. what will people be expecting from him? >> reporter: they'll be expecting leadership. really leadership at the time of
crisis and i think the president -- the fact he was actually on the scene of the shooting and speaking to the nation live on television within an hour of the incident pretty much sets the mood for how we can expect to see president hollande leading from the front in the coming days. it is said within an hour of the attack he was on the scene, and within two hours of the attack he was at the palace meeting with his security cabinet security officials, they have left the meeting and are implementing. we heard from the interior ministry and the communication between the different departments, [ inaudible ] of france have been activated so that local police forces local mu -- municipalities can
communication. we'll see increased numbers of security on the streets. the president will be speaking on television tonight in approximately four hour's time. this is the time for him to step up to the mark. he has been unpopular in opinion polls recently. he is a president who has been deemed to be weak. he's a president who's private life has been put in the spotlight. he's a president who has been criticized and ridiculed. now is a time for him to basically do his job, to lead from the front. and so far in the hours immediately following this attack he seems to be keen to demonstrate that he is up to the job, that it will be for them to decide whether they feel he is responding correctly to this crisis. >> all right. jackie thank you very much indeed. bringing us the latest from the french capitol paris.
you are watching the al jazeera news hour. we're bringing you continuing coverage of the shootings that have taken place. we know 12 people have been killed at the words now of the editor in chief, i don't understand how people can attack a newspaper with heavy weapons. he said a newspaper is not a weapon of war. he escaped today's attack because he was in london. at least nine have been kill. two police officers are dead. and a massive manhunt is underway to find the killers. >> reporter: amateur footage shows two black-hooded gunmen making their escape. a policeman lies injured and is then shot at point-blank range. the armed men flee in a black motor car. amid the chaos that followed the
attack, the president, francois hollande arrived on the scene. >> translator: it's an act of exceptional bar barety that has just been committed here against a newspaper. newspaper that standings for freedom of expression against journalists. >> reporter: the president announced that france was on its high estate of alert. >> translator: we have launched a measures following this act of aggression to find the perpetrators. they will be hunted for as long as necessary. >> reporter: bystanders cowered behind parked cars. the police have not yet confirmed exactly how many people died in this attack. >> translator: a van arrived with three masked men at the headquarters and they used automatic weapons, and killed anything they saw inside.
we have estimated about 10 to 11 are dead. between those who died inside and two colleagues of ours that have also died. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: more amateur footage filmed from a nearby building. in the aftermath emergency crews rushed the injured from the scene, a number of them said to be critical. it remains unclear how many attackers were involved. but it appears likely the publication was targeted as it has been before because of his satirical protrar -- portrayal of leaders. the office in paris was fire bombed in 2011. it sparked more controversy a year later when it published a series of satirical cartoons of
the profit mohammed. and today's attack came after the magazine tweeted a cartoon after the military leader. jackie joins us from paris. jackie this has been described as one of the worst terror attacks trans-- france has seen in a long time. what has been the reaction? >> reporter: shock first of all. shock and disbelief, really. people were slowly returning to work after the christmas and new year holidays. certainly a lot of people have been out today in the main shopping districts of paris. this isn't particularly a main shopping district here. but a lot of shops have been starting their january sales. people have been returning to work. you have offices, businesses shops, restaurants, and also a lot of people live here as well. there are a lot of flats in the neighboring streets.
people have returned to the area of the christmas and new year holiday. and the magazine has been attacked before. three years ago there was a fire bomb against its offices. there was a policeman on guard outside of the office but clearly the scale of this attack its preparation, the number of assailants involved the kind of weapons they had one policeman was not going to be adequate. people starting to ask questions about how this attack could have been prepared and plans, wondering whether there was not any kind of internet chatter that would have indicated that this kind of conspiracy was going on because while we know that the authorities are looking for three gunmen clearly there were drivers as well. someone got them to the scene without them being detected someone got them away from the scene as well. there was some kind of a get away car before they hijacked another car, and you have to ask
who procured the weapons and financed the attack were this group operating within isolation? so there are a lot of people asking here. first of all shocked, but also fearful and apprehensive as to whether there could be any other attackers out there who could be planning subsequent attacks. >> exactly jackie the fact that these attackers were clearly well organized, well prepared in possession of automatic weapons, and were able to get away what do we know about security measures in the city right now? and about the hunt to find them? >> reporter: well when the president came to the scene of the incident about an hour after the shooting took place, he said straight away that all resources would be mobilized in order to pursue these assailants, and that they would
continue to be hunted until they were caught. so he made it quite clear that all of france's security and intelligence agencies would be working on this and everyone -- all resources would be brought into action. obviously looking initially for these three assailants and but also anyone who could have been involved in logistics, transportation funding, or organize organization organization. beyond that in the coming hours and days we can expect to see a much heavier and more visible security presence on the streets of paris and other cities around the country. already the government has indicated that the kind of places which are going to be offering more protection include media offices other media and television stations places of worship, they will all be given extra protection as well. and railway stations airports
also big department stores. i did mention that the january sales have started. lots of tourists and shoppers are out. a lot of potential targets, we'll be seeing more police and armed police and expecting to see armed troops on the streets of the capitol as well as part of this effort to increase the security following this attack. >> just the measures that you described give us a sense of how the face of the french capitol, the geography of it is going to change in the sense that you are going to see more security forces on the streets at a time when tourists are out and about, as you say the january sales are happening. tell us more about the freedom of movement around the city. are people able to go about their business or are there restrictions in place in certain parts of the city now? >> reporter: i can really speak
to just mostly about the situation here because i have been pretty much glued to the spot here for about four hours now. certainly streets all around the vicinity i would say that any police corden was thrown up. and traffic is being diverted all together. because these streets are being given priority to emergency vehicles. we have seen ambulances and emergency vehicles coming and going, first of all emergency response and now more people like forensic experts, ballistic experts coming in as well. this whole area really completelycomplete completely -- completely disrupted in terms of transpoerm
port -- transportedation. >> all right. jackie we'll get back to you later. jackie roland with all of the latest live for us in paris. in 2003 france led opposition to the iraq war. ten years later france has been the first to join forces with the u.s. in the war against isil. in libya france was part of the operation which ousted caw daufy. but they are much more sensitive when it comes to europe. i'm joined now by remi pierre
an assistant professor at qatar university. how do you describe french foreign policy in recent years. we were talking about their opposition to the iraq war, ten years later a much more interventionist at proech proech -- approach. >> yes, france opposed the war in iraq because it was fought on the false [ inaudible ] of weapons of mass destruction. and france was part of the coalition in afghanistan in 2001 2, and 3. the question is fighting against terrorism. and in the case of fighting against terrorism, whether you are looking on the right or left of politics there has been a consensus there should be a fight against terrorism. >> in 2003 you are right about what you say on the basis of the foundation of weapons as mass destruction used as sort of one
of the causes to intervene in iraq but terrorism was also very much the basis of that and the basis of what we're seeing right now, so in that sense what is the difference? >> the difference is you are looking at different operations. here for example, france has been present not only in 2003 but also [ inaudible ] from other countries for example. but it hasn't been the case in 2 2003. it was a question of what is the purpose? it was not clear that saddam hussein was behind the attacks in 2001. that's why leaders in france opposed that war. there has been and continues to be a coalition against terrorism. and that's why you see here between the [ inaudible ] of barack obama or [ inaudible ] or all across former foes [ inaudible ] and the question
of ukraine for example, coalition against terrorism forces. >> would you describe french foreign policy as ideal onlying -- ideal logic or pragmatic. >> it's both. idealogical may be fuelling the quest here. we're looking at terrorist attack -- i mean on the original scale, but also the international scale, and obviously here you are going to see multiple cooperation between agencies. hopefully the secret service will be able to find the attackers with the support of other secret services. >> how do you think this attack would affect support amongst the general public towards foreign policy. >> i believe there was a consensus towards the actions of
france in for example central africa or in [ inaudible ]. all foreign policy affairs has been supported by though large population when it comes to terrorism. here it will be more interesting to look at how this will impact foreign policy. looking at what will be the -- the forces winning in terms of domestic policies [ inaudible ] that will be down the road very interesting to look at and the support towards and reaction from the muslim communities here. they are definitely going to be targeted and be scapegoats from the population and we'll have to look at how common society will react. as much as france [ inaudible ] has been able to react all together to some [ inaudible ] in the -- in politics that was the case in 2002 after [ inaudible ] came to the second round of elections.
the whole of society akally work [ inaudible ] and i think -- >> given the significance of this attack it is going to be fascinating to see how the public and political reaction plays out. we will get back to you in a moment. just want to show you footage now, because this is the moment who attackers escaped from the newspaper offices. a warning that these images are shocking. [ gunfire ] >> gunshots as a police officer falls to the ground. he lies huddled on the pavement. the two attackers then run towards him. the officer appears to raise his hand against them. yeah a single gunshot. the officer is shot as you could see there at point-blank range. the gunmen head back towards their waiting car.
yep, they shout as they run up the street and as the shouting stops, everything goes quiet. they get in they drive off, as you can see just past the policeman that they have killed. so some shocking images coming to us there of events that played out after two of those attackers managed to escape from the newspaper's offices, shooting a policeman at close range while he was on the floor. phillipe is a columnist with the french "huffington post." how would you describe reaction to what we have seen today? >> obviously everybody is shocked. they didn't only kill journalists they killed the very symbols of freedom of the press in france. the reactions are really huge. it's -- on a much much smaller
scale, of course it's a little bit like september 11th. it's really shocking. we didn't see journalists killed like that since 1945 since after the world war, so it is really something astonishing for the french audience and the press. >> what kind of discussion are we going to see play out in the coming days and weeks. i know it's still very early days. the country and city still in a crisis because there is a manhunt underway. we are still in the middle of a crisis but you say that this scene is very much as an attack on the people, on society, on french values how is it going to affect the psyche there do you think? >> there -- there is already in
france huge anti-islam feeling -- movement against islam, and what we can expect is an increase in the attacks against islam. in the press, of course and maybe demonstrations like in germany, and of course it's preoccupying because we have lek truns coming in march, in very limited time and the nation -- the far right is taking advantage of all of that . >> and they don't need to campaign for that anymore. these terrorists are making the campaign for them. this anti-islam movement was kind of strong even before the attacks. all of the moderate muslims in france are under attack attack -- perpetually in the press and in the books. >> as you point out we do have
an election coming up in france tell me more about how you expect the far right to capitalize on this. particularly marie lapen. >> marie lapen is playing on that anti-islam feeling. this terrorists -- the persons who committed these attacks whoever they are, are increasing that feeling. they are kind of saying yes, she is right, marie lapen is right, we are attacking you, and you have to depend yourself. and when marie lapen is so strong saying that attacks -- increasing likability so to speak in the public is something you have to worry about. and you can expect that she will have a strong presence in the
elections. given that they are general elections, and people will be voting everywhere in the country, and there is obviously something going wrong, very very wrong in your democracy actually. >> tell me more about why people are willing to -- to listen to the message of marie lapen and other political figures like her? why -- why her comments -- why her philosophy why does it resinate in the country right now? >> because she is very emotional. she plays on the emotions of people and the main emotion in france if you can't -- want to sum it is anger. people are angry. angry at the economic situation, angry at unemployment angry at [ inaudible ], and this angriness, she is the only one to express it. and it's where every on tv.
and this angriness is also based on the fact that people in france start to think -- they have been thinking for a long time that maybe europe and globalization are threats against the french culture, and we have books about that books only about that kind of topics and they are hugely popular. we talk about hundreds of thousands of books sold in a few weeks. so it's -- it's very popular theme, and she's -- fascinating that theme, that anger, that worry about the french identity so to speak. >> and the interesting thing that -- that -- fascinating what you say there phillipe because you mention the debate around europe globalization. you could almost tie that in with the anti-islamism. and it just seems as though perhaps the root cause of much of this.
or the catalyst behind a lot of this sentiment is the state of the economy, is high unemployment, and the great expectations of francois hollande when he came to the french presidency and those expectations have been very much disappointed a lot of disillusionment in the country right now. >> yes, exactly, people didn't wait a lot from -- they didn't expect much from francois hollande. he was elected because people were really angry at the previous president. but it's really a preoccupying situation, because the voters on the left don't go to vote anymore. they stay at home and they are angry in a passive way. and the voters on the right are really tempted by this vote. and we see something is happening around marie lapen
that is really [ inaudible ] of every political -- strong political feelings we have at the moment. there is a dynamic in [ inaudible ] of muslims. it is a very [ inaudible ] situation. these attacks come at a time that is the worst for france, really. there couldn't be a worse moment for these attacks to happen. this is really a place and a time where france is really in doubt about itself and about its future, so -- and the leader francois hollande has a responsibility in the sense that he is not really strong on authority. he is not really a heard, a chef as we say. he is really -- he is really low-key, and it is not really what people expect in time of crisis unfortunately for him. >> phillipe thanks very much. i do appreciate you speaking to us. >> thank you. >> of course he was mentions
president francois hollande. this is what he had to say earlier. >> translator: an act of exceptional bar barism has just been committed here in paris against a newspaper. a newspaper that is the expression of liberty and freedom. against journalists who wanted to portray their ideas. they were also police officers here to protect them. and journalists and police officers have been killed. right at this minute there are 11 dead people, four more are in critical condition. there are 40 people now who are safe and who are protected. in a few hours we'll know the exact toll. i have ordered a meeting be held at 2:00 at the palace of all of the responsible ministers who are directly concerned as far as
protecting our country is concerned. we must make safe all placings where these acts could happen again. so we have engaged the plan. there are also actions that have been immediately launched following this aggression to find the people who did this. they will be pursued for as long as is necessary in order that they be arrested and put in front of a court and a judge so that they can be prosecuted. today france has suffered a shock. a shock following an attack that is terrorists. there can be no doubt of that. on ta newspaper that had several times been threatened and was protected because of that. it's important to show we are a united country. that we know how to act in the way that is needed. that is with firmness but always with the interest of the nation. that will be how i act and will
be my will in the next days and weeks. i will speak to the french people again soon. several terrorist attacks have been foiled in the last weeks. we knew that we were threatened like other countries around the world. we are threatened because we are a country of freedom. and because of that we will control these threats and punish the aggressors. no one should think they can act in france against the principal of the state and attack the spirit of the republic. that is to say a newspaper. and i think today of the victims, 11 people are dead four are between life and death. we are here and we will have in our hearts to find those who carried out this attack and we call for national unity. >> just a little note in that -- when the president was making those comments the death toll was 11. of course we now know that 12 people were killed when gunmen burst into the office.
the death toll is 12 at the moment. the president has been meeting senior politicians at the palace. his office has issued this picture. he has been discussing security issues with adviseoradvisors. i'm still joined by assistant professor of public policy atqatar university. can you give us a sense of what might be happening behind closed doors? >> obviously right now, we're looking at secret service acting behind closed doors obviously. it's extremely hard to [ inaudible ] these kind of actions when you have [ inaudible ] which kind of chemical may have been used or the secure of the device. here we're just looking at gunmen arriving and shooting in an office. this is [ inaudible ] the kind of crime that it is to
traditional terrorism. it will be interesting to see whether there is support behind the president. obviously marie lapen has not been the most protective of freedom of the press. that would be ironic that she actually benefits from this event. >> do people acknowledge this. >> any extreme movement, they are identifying themselves with crisis. the fact that their political platform is almost empty is not what drives voters to support those movements. she is against islam, against movements that would [ inaudible ] the french identity. and she will use it to their advantage. but down the road people will
realize she is not calling for freedom of the press. >> she is in a much stronger position now than she was a few years ago, i think some people would go so far as to say we have seen a transformation in the landscape of french politics. this is a trend we have seen not just in france but across europe. and it has been very much driven by an economy in decline. how much is anti-islamist feeling in france a symptom of that? >> several things to say here first of all yes, there has been a rise in the far right movements, but also traditional parties do not manage to motivate their bases to go vote. the amount of voters for those parties haven't been multiplies by one or two or three.
it's more the traditional voters who are more moderate that do not turn out to vote. so the support base of those movements has to be [ inaudible ]. and france as most of europe has been going through several years of limited growth is also taking advantage of protesting [ inaudible ] opposition parties and far-right movements such as we have seen in the 1930s in europe. another example would be the [ inaudible ] french politics he has been known to be extremely active in the fight against organized crime or terrorism. and also the french society with the identity debate whether french identity was under turmoil. so it also has the seeds of this problem, but has been trying to portray a more charismatic
leader. [ inaudible ] the lack of capacity to motivate his people to vote for him. >> i want to talk to you more about francois hollande's prospects in up coming elections, but right now, let's take you through exactly what we know so far about what has been taking place. french officials say 12 people have been killed in the attack on the office of a magazine. the editor in chief and three other cartoonists are among the dead. three men are on the run in paris. french president has been to the scene, and called it a barbaric attack. he says the shooters will be chased as long as necessary. so a manhunt underway in the french capitol. of course we don't know their identity or if they were affiliated to any particular
group, and we don't know how many were involved or how much support they had. could you give me your thoughts your reaction to what we have seen to the attack that we have witnessed today. >> well obviously it's -- it's a shock. i think it's a shock for the whole french population. as far as i'm concerned, i knew several people at the magazine particularly [ inaudible ]. we were on television several times, and many times, we disagree on -- on a number of topics, but it was quite a friendly close relation and so my -- my first reaction is a real emotional shock.
after that we have to understand what happened. we have to analyze how this has been built. it's obviously a very carefully prepared well-organized aggression which request a good [ inaudible ] which has been [ inaudible ] by men who are professionals, and those have to be unmasked tracked and we need to know how they have been able to operate, and we need to be able to cope with any other operation and aggression of that kind. it's a real crucial challenge for security forces. >> as you say, there will be now
questions asked about how an attack like this was able to happen. we knew about the background of this magazine about publications in the past they have been targeted. they have come under violent attack in the past. do you think, though francois that cooler heads will prevail in the debate in the discussion that comes afterwards? or is there a danger now that perhaps an entire community, an entire group of people could face something of a backlash? >> i -- i do think that it's absolutely necessary to -- to cast all of the possible light about what happened to identify the -- the people who have perpetrated that aggression in order to dissipate rumors dissipate suspicions and
demonstrate that the -- the french government is able to discriminate between the small group, which has done that and the -- the rest of not only the muslim community, but the rest of french citizens which obviously completely -- is completely shocked and totally -- totally disapprove that aggression so it's a -- political to some extent -- it's a political issue, which is related to the quality of the present investigation. it has to be done as quickly as possible. again, we have to bring together all of the french people all of the french population. i think that during the
funerals, we will have a huge huge demonstration of the unity of french people and let's not misunderstood the -- the importance of that event. it will not divide the french population. on the contrary because of the horror of that attack it will bring together the french people because they all share that horror against that kind of aggression. >> thanks very much indeed good to talk to you, president of the french strategic analysis institute. let's get the latest from jackie roland. jackie i don't know if you were able to listen to what he was saying there. i suppose people still very much processing what has happened because there is a great deal
that we still don't know. what is happening there now? >> reporter: well right now i have to say that feelings are running very high. i think that really what has happened here today in many ways is testing all sorts of values and thoughts not just freedom of expression but aultsz the idea of tolerance. some young man said something provocative, and another crowd of young people got very upset about it. and almost a fight broke out. and the police had to separate people. so really we're seeing fault lines being exposed in french society. questions about freedom of expression, because that's what the magazine was all about. inserting the right of the newspaper and the journalists to express freely what they think. and on the streets here you have someone else expressing an opinion, which almost lead to a fight breaking out. feelings are running very high.
there is a lot of tension here. people are very shocked and upset about what happened. i must say people are also afraid. because these three gunmen are still on the run. they had at least a get away car, they had someone who drove them undetected to the scene of the attack. you have to ask who provided these weapons, and as long as the gunmen remain on the loose, people out there france as a whole will be anxious about whether they could -- perpetrate another attack. people right now across france will be feeling very nervous, very anxious, but above all very shocked about what has happened in paris today. >> yes, exactly. and i guess much of that comes from the uncertainty of the lack of clarity. we don't know about how many people involved if there was a particular group after fill a
littled who might have been providing these men with weapons and other kinds of support. and an attack like this on the one hand very difficult to predict, but will there be concerns about whether or not they could have anticipated something like this? >> yeah i think questions to be raised not only for the security services but i would say for the intelligence services. because just a few weeks ago the french police very proudly announced that they had broken up what they described as a jihadist cell. they had arrested a number of people across france in the outskirts of paris and broadcast this with quite a lot of fanfare, the fact that they had broken -- penetrated and dismantled this jihadi cell, however, in a matter of weeks
this has happened. so people will be asking how the intelligence -- did they let the ball drop here in some way. and also as well as in terms of security. this magazine was not a stranger to violent attacks. three years ago there was a fire bomb attack after they published cartoons of the profit mohammed. they aim to shock, provoke, and challenge the idea of censorship the idea that there are any taboos any institution which is above criticism or ridicule. however, that's obviously a very dangerous approach to take. bearing in mind some of the views of some elements of society. many ordinary people would regard it as being bad taste or vulgar other people outraged. there was one police officer on duty outside of the offices, but clearly one police officer was no -- in no way adequate to face
up to three heavily armed gunmen. but as you correctly pointed out, these attacks are extremely difficult to predict, and what in fact, the french security forces intelligence agencies interior ministry not just in paris, but out there departments all over france will be looking at prevention looking at which kind of buildings, which kind of institutions require more protection. we hear there will be security sent to other media organization us to mosques and churches, synagogues to shops, and train stations airports. schools for example have canceled outings, canceled extracurricular activities for children. you get the sense that the country is going into some sort
of lockdown people trying to minimize the risk all over the country. >> jackie roland in paris with the latest thank you very much. looking at the international reaction as you would expect leaders around the world condemning this attack. the british prime minister saying: in a statement the russian president vladimir putin expressed deepest condolences to the relatives and loved ones of the dead and also the people of paris and nation of france. u.s. president barack obama saying: france is america's oldest ally and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the united states in the fight against terrorism. while the u.s. secretary of state john kerry is expected to speak about that attack very shortly, we'll be live in
washington, d.c. when that gets underway. rob this attack in france has been described as the country's equivalent to 9/11. right now you have european capitol in crisis with gunmen on the run effectively. describe to me the mood there in the u.s. capitol. officials must be watching these events play out with a great deal of trepidation. >> reporter: well there certainly is a lot of attention being paid now, in fact the department of homeland security which is in control of anti-terrorist and counter terrorism sorts of matters here in the united states charged with protecting the american population says that it is monitoring the event in paris very closely and is in touch with its counterparts in the region. i think pointing out that this is equivalent to the attacks on
the world trade center and the pentagon in 2001, there's a big difference here in that this act of political violence was not targeted at random people but rather at a specific institution, and at the press, and more broadly at freedom of the press and freedom of expression. the committee to protect journalists in new york is an organization that monitors attacks on journalists, and it's exexecutive director said we are shocked and saddened by the violence. and saying it is one of the deadliest media attacks ever documented by cpj, and also saying an attack of this nature in paris shows that the threat to journalists and free expression is global with no safe haven. there were 61 journalists killed in 2014 many of them in war
zones in the middle east or latin america and so on this of course in the heart of a great metropolitan city where people have at least some expectation of safety is quite a different matter. we expect secretary of state john kerry possibly to have some comments on this. he is meeting with the polish foreign minister shortly, and the two will make giant statement. it's likely that mr. kerry will address this issue. i should point out in his statement, president obama noted that we are in touch with french officials and i have directed by administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice. >> we know the terror alert in paris has been raised to its highest level. there is still a great deal that we don't know about the circumstances around this attack but can you tell us about protocol procedure that
might be undertaken by the pentagon, the white house in a situation where you have terror alert in a european capitol being raised to its highest level? >> in fact right there in paris, the american embassy, the u.s. embassy in paris is operating with business as usual type of status today. continuing to allow people to go in and out on official business. so there hasn't been any marked change there. there's no lockdown in this city certainly. although the department of homeland security again has said that it will monitor and adjust the level of threat and -- and make public any additional need for precautions. it's simply at this point urging americans as usual to speak out if they something suspicious. but we do not see any -- at
least obvious and visible change in the security status on the streets of washington, d.c. at least not at this moment. >> all right. rob thanks very much. rob reynolds live for us there in washington, d.c. and we are expecting u.s. secretary of state john kerry to say a few words. we'll get to that as soon as it gets underway. we have already heard condemnation from around the world. and so if we look just a little bit more at the background of the satirical paper known for its provocative publications. in 2006 it reprinted 12 cartoons features the profit mohammed. in the early hours of november 2nd, 2011 the office
was fire bombed and its web hacked. it was assumed the attacks were linked to its decision to maim the profit mohammed as editor in chief. in 2012 the paper held a press conference after its published more cartoons of the profit mohammed. >> blasphemy is not a crime anymore. and apologizing for taking aim at everybody in society, muslim included. they took aim every week at [ inaudible ] the hypocrisy of the political class and everyone. even [ inaudible ] newspaper or you don't. either you are in a democracy or you are not. so, you know you can argue that
very often -- you know they are extremely uncouth, even vulgar you don't have to buy the newspaper if you don't like it. so you know, they certainly don't have to apologize for anything. and what -- what is really going to be -- >> as you say, they -- well you think that they shouldn't apologize for anything. what is really at stake here in your opinion, i guess, is the freedom of speech which is very important to france. >> yes, i mean the thing is you know you can -- i mean if you are in a democracy, you can laugh at everything and again, as you know -- as a citizen, you -- you don't have to buy the satirical newspapers if you don't like them. i mean trust me it is not really my cup of tea, i find them rather gross or a bit too
offensive sometimes, but they should be available for anyone who enjoy their cartoons or their [ inaudible ]. the national -- the -- the far right and the communists have their own newspapers, you know should they apologize for the millions of victims of stalin? [ inaudible ] will be talking for years about it. so really the question is can journalists do their jobs or not in a democracy? and it's also a question of security, and that's why i think -- you know secret services and the police not only in france but in the western world are facing a new -- a new threat. that is to say operations that, you know can be commanded by -- by anyone with access to -- to weapons, and that's
really something that all of western democracies have to tackle and it's extremely difficult of course to manage to follow all of the attackers. >> i'm still joined by assistant professor of international affairs at qatar university. one of the fascinating things we have seen today is it has exposed some cracks in the french society. and this magazine was a symbol of that when it comes to no boundaries when it comes to freedom of speech and those who think there has to be some sort of restriction in place, that they would describe some of what the publication published in the past as being offensive. how do you expect that debate to evolve now. >> there has been regular debate
about this publication. they target all religion all censorship, also about power and accumulation of wealth and always in a provocative manner. however, it is essential in french society the ability to have an opinion and publish about it. freedom of the press is one of the central pillar of the french society, and therefore, they are following the rule of law in france. if they were to have this clear law in france where they were to attack wrongly a specific interest, you can turn towards the court and get the publication from the court. in this case the debate is there, but we went over the question in 2011 and 2006 and there was general consensus backing up the rights of the
publication. >> we can see u.s. secretary of state john kerry about to speak. >> he has come here to meet with us and talk about the important relation relationship. we are working on many many issues in a very very close bilateral way, before i do talk however, about our relationship both of us were just talking about the horrific attack in paris today. the murderous attack on the headquarters of a magazine in paris. i would like to say directly to the people of paris and to all of france that each and every american stands with you today
not just in horror or anger or outrage for this vicious act of violence but we stand with you in solidarity and in commitment both to the cause of confronting extremism, and in the cause which the extremist fear so much and which has always united our two countries, freedom. no country knows better than france that freedom has a price. because france gave birth to democracy itself. born of freedom and of free expression, and that is what the extremists fear the most. they may wield weapons, but we in france and in the united states share a commitment to those who wield something far more powerful not just a pen, but a pen that represents an
instrument of freedom, not fear. free expression and a free press are core values. they are universal values principles that can be attacked but never eradicated because brave and decent people around the world will never give in to the intimidation and terror that those seeking to destroy those values employ. i agree with the french immon who called the terrorists martyr martyrs of liberty. this is between civilization itself and those opposed to a civillized world. the murders dare proclaim the magazine is dead but no mistake, they are wrong. today, tomorrow in paris, in
france across the world, the freedom of expression that this magazine -- no matter what your feelings were about it the freedom of expression that it represented is not able to be killed by this kind of act of terror. on the contrary it will never be eradicated by any act of terror. what they don't understand what these people who do these things don't understand is they will only strengthen the commitment to that freedom, and our commitment to a civilized world. i would like to just say a quick word if i may, directly to the people of france. [ speaking french ]
>> well of course we know that's secretary of state john kerry does speak french and he is saying a few words there in the french language to the people of france after, really the entire country is in shock, reeling from that attack that took place today. a little bit earlier on we heard him expressing america's
solidarity with the french people really echoing the sentiment we had from president barack obama a bit earlier. let's talk to remi pierre a little bit more right now. what are we hearing from john kerry right now. >> first of all we hear him speaking in french saying that no country more than france knows the price of freedom. he is mentioning how freedom is the central value that united people. and the difference between the world's civilization and the world's barbaric act like we witnessed today. >> we'll chat a little bit more in a second, but let's lynn